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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 20, 1958

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 20 FEBRUARY 1958

This document was made possible with support from the ROK Ministry of Unification, Leon Levy Foundation

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    Puzanov and Nam Il discuss the reference to the two Koreas in the recent Statement of the USSR,the issue of the South Korean aircraft that has overflown into DPRK, and the PRC delegation's visit to the DPRK.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 20 February 1958," February 20, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF F. 0102, Op. 14, Delo 6, Listy 32-60. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115966
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20 February

I visited Nam Il.

I briefed [him on] and passed him the text of a Statement of the government of the Soviet Union in connection with the 5 February Declaration of the DRPK government and the 7 February Declaration of the PRC government.

After familiarizing himself with the text of the Declaration Nam Il said that it is very well prepared and strong. Then Nam Il directed attention to the fact that for the first time in documents of the Soviet government it uses the country name "both Korean states" with regard to South and North Korea.

I asked Nam Il, does he not essentially agree with the name "state, or does he have some other ideas? For my part I noted that in fact two states with different social, economic, and political systems have developed and exist on the territory of Korea. I also mentioned that the DPRK leadership had to a certain degree recognized this in the Statue on elections to the Supreme People's Assembly producing elections of delegates on territory where the authority of the DPRK extends.

Nam Il replied that essentially such a name does not give rise to any objections or doubts. In reality, two states do exist on the territory of Korea. The leadership of the Party and the government correctly understand this. Only one thing bothers us - will it be correctly understood by the population of Korea?

Nam Il then dwelt on that place of the Soviet government Declaration where it says, "…if both Korean states conclude a peace agreement", saying that it is not completely understood how a Peace Agreement could be concluded with South Korea if the UN is considered the side fighting North Korea and South Korea itself will not be concluding a peace agreement.

I told Nam Il that as regards the position of the government of South Korea then it has not as yet entered into any negotiations, not to mention agreements or treaties. It is natural to think that it would hardly conclude a Peace Agreement with the DPRK. Essentially it would be completely natural and correct when two states which have been formed and exist on the territory of Korea conclude a Peace Agreement between themselves and pledge to solve all contentious issues without the use of force.

Nam Il thanked [me] for the information about the text of the Soviet government Declaration and said that right now Kim Il Sung has evidently become free (he was busy with the PRC government delegation) and he will immediately familiarize him with the text of the Declaration.

In connection with the fact that at the request of the USSR MFA the DPRK MFA offered a proposal which ought to be considered at a EhKADV [UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East] session, and among the proposals was the question of accepting the DPRK as a member of this Commission, on instructions of the USSR MFA I informed Nam Il that questions of the acceptance of members are not decided at the EhKADV session. Such issues are decided by the UN Economic and Social Council. I reported that in its statement at the Commission session the Soviet delegation will declare that it considers it incorrect that the DPRK is not represented in the EhKADV. Our delegation will highlight the economic achievements of the DPRK. In its statement the Soviet delegation will also advocate the development of economic ties between the DPRK and South Korea, which will promote a rapprochement of both parts of Korea.

Nam Il thanked [me] for the information.

I informed Nam Il that on 23 February the military attaché of our Embassy will hold a reception in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Soviet Army. I asked that our invitation to this reception be passed to Kim Il Sung and all members of the KWP CC Presidium.

Nam Il thanked [me] and said that inasmuch they had had a discussion with him about this somewhat earlier he had told Kim Il Sung about the reception. Kim Il Sung and Presidium members will be at the reception.

I asked Nam Il, how to explain that KWP CC Presidium member Kim Du-bong was not at the last reception in the Cabinet of Ministers in honor of the Chinese government delegation?

Nam Il replied that at the present time Kim Du-bong is not being invited to KWP CC Presidium meetings and he is not being invited to receptions and meetings at which there are CC Presidium members.

I connection with this I asked Nam Il's opinion, should Kim Du-bong be invited to the 23 February reception?

Considering the above circumstances, said Nam Il, Kim Du-bong ought not to be invited to the reception.

I asked Nam Il what decision had been made with respect to the return of the South Korean passenger plane which had overflown the DPRK on 16 February and the return of the civilians on this aircraft?

Nam Il said that the DPRK government is in no hurry with this issue and has not yet made a final decision about returning the aircraft and the civilians. On 18 February the American side turned to the Secretariat of the Military [Armistice] Commission with an offer to discuss the issue of returning the plane and passengers to the South Korean authorities. The representative of the Korean side replied that this issue is not within the competence of the Military [Armistice] Commission. The government of South Korea needs to address the government of the DPRK directly. Nam Il said, we have a report that the South Koreans are addressing us about the issue of the return of the aircraft and the civilians through the International Red Cross organization. If such an appeal follows then we will return the civilians. As regards the aircraft, let the South Korean government address our government about this issue directly.

At the end of the conversation Nam Il shared an impression of the Chinese government delegation's visit. He said that Zhou Enlai and delegation members were very satisfied with the visit to the DPRK. They note the great achievements in the development of industry and agriculture. The Hungnam mineral fertilizer plant made a great impression on the delegation. In doing so Zhou Enlai noted that the development of the  chemical industry in the DPRK is ahead of the PRC and he expressed a wish to send a delegation of Chinese chemical industry officials to familiarize themselves with the experience of operating our chemical plants. A survey of the defensive works in the area of Wonsan made a great impression on the Chinese friends. They were shown the command post and artillery mounts located in the hills and tunnels. While inspecting these works Zhou Enlai noted their reliability in defense and convenience in deployment. He then told the Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army that they ought to borrow the experience of the Korean friends in building defensive structures. The delegation gave high marks to the DPRK's achievements in cooperating peasant farms and the successes achieved in the production of agricultural products. When visiting the Sunan (Sunan District) agricultural cooperative Zhou Enlai was interested in the detail about the means of preparing feeding blocks for transplanting cotton. Nam Il said that the talks went in a cordial and friendly atmosphere. About the issue of the delivery of cotton from the PRC to the DPRK, Zhou Enlai said that evidently China will have the ability to supply up to 10,000 tons a year (when consulting about the draft five-year plan the PRC set the delivery of cotton to the Korean friends at 8,000 tons a year). As regards the supply of coke Zhou Enlai asked how much coke the DPRK needs to satisfy the need for it, and said that the PRC will help supply coke; on return [home] he promised to report the amount and discuss this issue in the PRC government. The issue of the factionalists and political refugees in China were not raised and not discussed inasmuch as there was complete agreement about this during Kim Il Sung's meeting with Mao Zedong in Moscow.

I thanked Nam Il for the information.

After some time Nam Il passed over the government telephone that Kim Il Sung had familiarized himself with the text of the Soviet government Declaration. In Nam Il's words, Kim Il Sung expressed complete satisfaction and said that the Declaration was strong, and completely supports the Declaration of the DPRK government and the measures of the PRC government. Kim Il Sung asked that a request be passed on that , if possible, in the text of the Declaration in the sentence "…both Korean states" the word states be replaced with the word governments, or to say ["]both parts of Korea, Southern and Northern["]. Nam Il said, this request is motivated by the same reason he had talked about in the conversation with me during familiarization with the text of the Declaration. Then Nam Il again declared that the DPRK leadership understands that two states have formed and exist.

I said for my part that the request would be passed on. Then I said again that two states actually exist on the territory of Korea and there is hardly a great need to make these changes.

(Kim Il Sung's request was passed by telephone to DVO Chief Cde. Zimyanin, who reported that it would be immediately reported to Minister A. A. Gromyko. In addition, Zimyanin reported that there will be an addition in the Soviet government text that was transmitted, about the 19 February Joint Declaration of the government of the DPRK and the government of the PRC.[)]

NOTE: In the published text of the Soviet government Declaration the words "both Korean states" were replaced by the words "both governments".